Motorized Toy Project - The Corporation (Lesson 3)

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SWBAT collaborate as a team to form a company to develop a new motorized toy.

Big Idea

Developing a corporate name, logo & slogan to plan, build, test and market a new motorized toy prototype

The Need for the Lesson

Students will be working as group for an extended period of time. Forming a "corporation" identifies the team as a working group with a common goal. There are three major roles in the "corporation"; engineer, designer and marketer. Each student will select a role that matches the phases of the project. This requires a different student to take the lead role in the project. Having a "corporation" with a name, logo and slogan will keep the team identity during leadership changes.

Investigation Preparation & Summary

5 minutes

This is lesson three of the Motorized Toy Project

Students will learn and use the vocabulary of engineers, defining problems, constraints and criteria for success. Students will experience the integration of skills across the curriculum as they delve into the project. (MS-ETS1.1 - Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.) Students will be asking the question and solving the problem - What toy design will best meet the marketing goals of MTI (Motorized Toy Company) and how will we develop it? (SP1 - Asking Questions and Defining Problems)

Students collaborate to design and implement a solution to the Request for Proposal letter sent from the fictitious toy company - MTI. (MS-ETS1.2 - Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.) Students will examine various gear ratios to determine which best meets the criteria and constraints of the problem defending their choice using data collected. (SP7 - Engaging in Argument from Evidence)

Students will construct and test multiple gear ratios and use the data collected to make and informed decision about their final product. (MS-ETS1.3 - Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.) Students must analyze the data they have collected. Some student groups may not actually meet the performance requirements set forth by MTI (Motorized Toy, Inc.) and may have to justify their choice of a gear ratio for the toy based on their interpretation of the best fit according to their data. (SP4 - Analyzing and Interpreting Data)

An important understanding for students in that engineering is an iterative process. They will build and test multiple gear ratios models to determine the optimal performance of the motorized toy. (MS-ETS1.4 - Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.) (SP2 - Developing and Using Models)

After implementing their successful solution, students will create a short video to promote their new product (WHST.6-8.2 - Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.)

The project models for students how scientific research, collecting data about gears and their performance, and societal desires in the form of the project request from Motorized Toy, Inc., theCrosscutting Concept of Influence of Science, Engineering, and Technology on Society and the Natural World.

This PBL is based on the curriculum developed by the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) AWIM (A World in Motion) Motorized Toy Project. The original curriculum has great lessons and takes about 8 weeks to complete. The program is outstanding. My modifications are designed to allow the project to be completed in about 3 weeks. The time line allows students to experience a taste of the entire engineering design process required to bring a new product to market.

Kits are available for purchase on the SAW AWIM website - here. If you can partner with an SAE member, the member can apply for one new kit each year for your school. The form to apply for a free kits is here. I have partnered with an SAE member for several years and have three kits that allow me to run this project with all my classes at once.

A complete materials list for this lesson can be found in the resources section.

The NGSS Evidence Statement publication for middle grade engineering was used as a guide for verifying that all engineering standards could be observed in the Motorized Toy Project series of lessons. This video briefly explains that process.

All NGSS Evidence Statements for middle school can be found here.

Students in Action

45 minutes

When we meet as a whole class or in small groups, we will call these meeting workshops. They are short informative sessions to help you make progress on your project

The workshops will be limited to 5 - 10 minutes. The rest of the class time will be your work time. Please use your time wisely. Remember, your team is responsible to stay on the schedule outlined on your timeline.

Today I will share some helpful information about corporation names, logos and slogans. I share the first slide with students. You all recognize this corporation. Where do you think the name NIKE comes from? Students suggest that it is just a cool name or perhaps the initials of the corporations founders.

I share the next slide with students.

As you can see, the name NIKE is no accident. NIKE is the ancient Greek goddess of victory. Wouldn't you want to wear a pair of shoes or sports clothing that carries the name of the ancient Greek goddess of victory? What is the logo? The swoosh. What it the slogan? Just Do It.

I share the next slide. Here is another corporation that uses an ancient Greek god, in this case it is their logo. This is Hermes, the messenger god.

When you design your corporation name, logo and slogan, think about what it means.

You have the rest of the class period to work on your posters and binder covers.

Teams may not finish today. I will continue the workshops on schedule and students can begin to share the work so they meet the deadlines. Some students will reach project milestones sooner than scheduled. When this happens, I meet with the individual team or teams for a workshop so they can continue to make progress.

This lesson is not tied to a standard but it is an important part of the Motorized Toy Project. In this video I explain why this is an important lesson in the series.